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Blog Entry

Union VP: NBA owners are sure players will cave

Posted on: October 5, 2011 9:11 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 9:22 pm
 
Posted by Ben Golliveretan-thomas

And now for something different.

Etan Thomas, the National Basketball Players Association's executive first vice president, has penned a letter on ESPN.com in which he puts himself inside the mind of the NBA's owners.

The letter argues that owners believe that the fans will take their side, that the owners don't think they have to negotiate because the players will "self-destruct" and "start caving" once paychecks are missed in November, and that the owners don't feel the need to explain their financial losses in meaningful detail. 
We haven't budged drastically from our original proposal because, quite frankly, we don't feel we have to. We're just going to sit back and wait for the players to self-destruct while we stick to our position...

We also do not believe the players will stick together once they start missing their paychecks. It's easy for them to speak the language of solidarity and unity now. It isn't difficult for them to come to our negotiating meetings and take cute little photo ops with their matching "stand" T-shirts now, but we fully expect to see them caving once their paychecks stop coming in. We believe they are going to come crawling back to us for whatever deal we give them, almost like a strung-out addict who will do anything for the next fix. We are the ones who can scratch that itch for them, and they won't care about the particulars of the deal then. They will just want something so they can return to playing. And at that point, we'll give them an even worse deal than they would've received when they weren't desperate.

And we're gonna do it because we can. 

All in all, this is a very cogent analysis of the situation. Thomas wraps up the letter by preaching that player solidarity is the only way to resolve the ongoing labor standoff. 

If we can get players to fragment and their walls of unity and solidarity to come tumbling down, we will win. The only fact that is relevant is this: If the players don't stick together, we will crush them. Period.

In the past, we've wondered whether the players truly understood the challenge facing them in these negotiations. It's clear from this letter that Thomas, for one, understands exactly what the NBPA is up against. 

This letter winds up serving as a well-timed rallying call to those players who might be thinking about jumping ship or leaping to accept a compromise so that no regular season games are missed and no paychecks are sacrificed. Of course, money always speaks loudest. If a season-saving deal is to be reached by Monday, it will require further concessions from the players, and it will take the union leadership to negotiate those concessions and then a majority of the rank-and-file to ratify them before the season can be saved.

Are both of those things possible if Thomas's message of unity is to be truly heeded? I suppose we'll know the answer to that by Monday.

Category: NBA
Comments

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: October 7, 2011 12:39 am
 

nobody cares

Uh, NBA? Go away.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2011 10:32 am
 

Union VP: NBA owners are sure players will cave

Owners don't even have to go that route. They can sign replacement players and go on without players that think they can do better elsewhere. 

That's the thing these fools don't understand.  The union and fans that support the players keep telling us over and over again these players are most important and there is no league without them.  That may be true except for one thing.  The NBA's success long term has nothing to do with THESE players... players come and go.  When these idiots are gone new players will come in, and would do so for a lot less then what NBA players are earning in today's NBA.   This league has lost superstar after superstar and allstar after allstar year after year after after yet still goes on. 

To ask the owners to lose money is ridiculous.  To guarantee players salaries when the owner isn't guaranteed a profit is nuts.  



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 9:11 am
 

Union VP: NBA owners are sure players will cave

This isn't Rocket Science.

Owners aren't asking these guys to work for minimum wage and Wal Mart benefits. Players aren't mine workers forced to work in an unsafe environment and spend their checks at the Company store. Courts can't make employers go bankrupt paying employees millions of dollars, and fans will find "sympathy" for this logic, in the same section of the dictionary as "suicide" and "stupididty".

Under the current NBA offer, players will still make millions per year and have a league that can financially keep making them wealthy indefinately. WHAT is so terrible about THAT ?

If the players got what they WANTED, the NBA would lose $300 million a year until it folded. If the owners accepted the players "concessions"
;, the NBA would lose $100 million a year until it folded. This isn't the banking industry, or even the Big 3 Auto makers...Congress isn't going to ask taxpayers to bail out the NBA so they can pay basketball players like CEO's, folks. 

The players must believe owners should lose that much money on the business, because owners can afford such an expensive hobby, and they deserve guaranteed millions even in a business loss ? It's unrealistic. It speaks to the old addage "A fool and his money are soon parted". 

It's a ridiculous concept that suggests mental evaluations and drug testing are in order.

The players "unity" amounts to an armed robbery attempt where players have the gun to their OWN heads. Eventually, the owners have to say, "Go ahead and shoot". It's inevidible.

In the WORST scenario, the owners can fold the NBA and go back to the billions they made before basketball. Without wage competition from the NBA, the dollars overseas leagues players see as an option, will drop faster than the value of the Greek economy. Turkish jails will sentance players that commit crimes, instead of giving them community service. Agents will go back to practicing Law or to the NFL and MLB in the U.S. The best basketball in the U.S. will be in neighborhoods where the richest people won't be basketball players, and the NCAA will have more players that can pass the SAT, and stay for londer than the first semester grading period. 

Owners don't even have to go that route. They can sign replacement players and go on without players that think they can do better elsewhere. They COULD decide to BAN players that don't return, and give THEM the scenario above.   

Eventually, NBA players will either cave, or they will disappear. It's all up to them.

It's a no-brainer. Shut up and go back to the NBA, or find something else to do for a living.  



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com